This is not a “come to Jesus moment.” Jesus didn’t want anything to do with what I’m about to let loose here.
When we elected Barack, I ached with hope. Aspiration. Pride. Black America didn’t have to shrink anymore. Didn’t have to make ourselves small to get along. Didn’t have to use our church voice all day, every day so as not to threaten or offend. We could just be regular people. Regular just like you.
The same was so very much not true with Kam though, no. I am pissed. Really pissed. We didn’t have January 6th coming. We didn’t have that hostile ragefest coming where you blame the whole of the universe on us for your de-throning as The Chosen. When I watched Vice President Harris yesterday, I did not feel buoyed. I felt steeled.
“Really? Really though, Gump? That’s how we’re doing this, then? OK.”
I get frustration — who doesn’t? I get disenfranchisement — who doesn’t? And orange, blue, green, black or white, I don’t care what you look like: if the government comes crunching all over your Constitution, I’m your first, last, and only call.
So, why? With the White Riot, why? You did not go to DC and demand better access to education. You did not storm the Capitol for being used and abused by The Man. You did not boot up and suit up, in it to win it, to put an end to abusing your liberty.
Nooooooo, you didn’t make any demands. You rolled right on up and into Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office, smeared s**t everywhere, claimed status entitlement, and beer-belched “America better RECOGNIZE! Alpha is in the Hooooowwwse, and you better check that ‘equal opportunity’ bulls**t.”
“[I]f you cannot succeed unless others are excluded, it’s not them, it’s you.“
Why did you make that delusional fictionary about how superior you are over us, how you deserve better than us, how we don’t know our place?
“Ethnonationalist Trump supporters want to return to a past when white men saw themselves as the core of America and minorities and women ‘knew their place.’” I . . . beg your pardon?
“How toxic is the combination of pessimism and anger that stems from a deterioration in standing and authority?” . . . Wait, what?
“[N]on-college white Americans who have been undergoing what psychiatrists call ‘involuntary subordination’ or ‘involuntary defeat’ both resent and mourn their loss of centrality and what they perceive as their growing invisibility; describes as pervasive ‘unhappiness, stress and lack of hope’ . . .” I’m sorry, you’re going to want to stop talking right now.
“This is a domain in which men and white men in particular stand at the apex of power, holding their ‘rightful position’ over women, nonwhites, perhaps non-Christians (in the U.S.), and of course, in their view, sexual deviants such as gay people.” HAVE YOU LOST YOUR WHOLE ENTIRE GDMF MIND?
Forget for a moment that a 400 year head start wasn’t enough. Babe, even with a four year head start, you’d have to kill me to catch me.
Forget for a moment that s**t smears and “rightful position” are the two DUMBEST things you can combine and expect to get anything but heckled.
Forget for a moment that if someone has to install you as the superior being you cannot actually be a superior being because that is not how superior or being works.
When Black America wants better, we haul every damn person in the room up that mountain with us. Doesn’t matter who you are. Doesn’t matter how low you start. Doesn’t matter, the “who” or “what” or “why” behind what’s keeping you down. We rise, EVERYBODY’S rising — we raise the ceiling to reach the mountain top. But you? No, you spent the whole of the White Riot demanding your “raise” by lowering our floor.
Let me tell you a story. In the way way back, I was preparing for a bail review in the courthouse lockup. My client — cuffed to the wall — was in a Mexican gang. During my interview, it was just me, him, and the courtroom deputy — a really sweet but young White guy, all goofy smile and teeth.
Mid-interview, another Latino defendant enters the cell, not cuffed at all. I am a total green legal rube, and it hardly registers. They see each other, do a slight nod, and the new guys moves it along to the back of the cell.
I finish up my interview, reassure my guy, head out of the cell. As I cross the threshold, I see a blur in my peri-vision. I turn, one guy is stabbing the other. And that was the point that I noticed the courtroom deputy was nowhere to be seen. I’d been back there for twenty minutes maybe. He’d been gone for at least fifteen of those.
Do you know what I learned that day? Respect is earned, it is not owed. “Bad people” can be deeply decent; “good” can be monsters. And you only enjoy my trust once. Those two “drug dealers, criminals, rapists” stood tall while that pillar of the earth bailed.
So let me return the favor with a few of my own: there are no entitled during the apocalypse; if I’m good enough to block you, you aren’t good enough to beat me; and, if you cannot succeed unless others are excluded, it’s not them, it’s you.
I am done thanking my albatross, and I am done being your excuse. I am done being condescended to. I am done being addressed as if I should be grateful to you for anything. I am done humoring this absolutely freakish “let me tell you how the world works, little lady” thing white dudes do.
I am good people. We are good people. We are ride or die. You? You blamed then bailed.
So, you think long and hard about what you want out of 2021. We can stand tall and rise as one. Or, we can watch you sink like anchors tend to do.
Before you engage me or others, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Catherine Pugh is an Attorney at Law and former Adjunct Professor at the Temple University, Japan. She developed and taught Race and the Law for its undergraduate program, and Evidence, Criminal Law, and Criminal and Civil Procedure for its law program. She has worked for the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section, and was a Public Defender for the State of Maryland.
To my sweetest of loves: I am the wall for them; you are the wall for me. And nothing — nothing — has ever gotten past you. You are my everything. #CubanKitchen.
“It takes the wisdom of the elders . . .” Thank you for teaching us, loving us, leading us all: Mary Stovall Davis Budd, Andrea Tucker, Lorenzo and Dorris Pugh, Jacqueline and Roger Wallace, Kenneth Davis, Sandra Davis, and Karen Davis.